Liverpool’s move to their new multi-million training complex in Kirkby has been well documented for some time, writes Paddy Allen.
However, no one really knew how they’d feel when it actually happened.
The Melwood gates closed for the last time yesterday, leaving it in the hands of Torus.
They will build new housing on the illustrious land which has seen many a Liverpool legend step foot on.
It’s left both fans and players, current and old, feeling somewhat sad about it all.
The club purchased Melwood in the 1950s.
All it was then was a single wooden cricket pavilion and a few less than decent pitches.
This was until Bill Shankly came in to the club in 1959.
Shankly famously said “have the Germans been here?” in reference to the shoddy state of the facilities.
He and his team transformed Melwood into a proper training complex, a complex where his “pass and move” philosophy would be nurtured.
Melwood stayed like this until 2001. The club decided to improve its training ground, developing the Millennium Pavilion and turning Melwood into what we saw until yesterday.
Many players who’ve featured for the Reds over the years have paid tributes to the famous training ground on social media.
Former Spanish hitman, Fernando Torres, left Melwood in a spate of controversy in January of 2011.
However, he’s since been welcomed back by the fans and posted on Twitter yesterday to pay tribute.
— Fernando Torres (@Torres) November 10, 2020
Jamie Carragher, a player who was based at Melwood for the whole of his professional career, also tweeted a tribute to his footballing home of 17 years.
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) November 9, 2020
Michael Owen, a man who won the Ballon D’or while playing for Liverpool, paid one of the most heartfelt tributes to Melwood.
I turned up at this place 30 years ago. Little did I know that it would provide me with the memories of a lifetime. So many great people walked through those gates. And so many friendships formed. Thanks for the memories. #Melwood pic.twitter.com/vmFPUdkq1n
— michael owen (@themichaelowen) November 10, 2020
It’s not just former players who are giving their thoughts about Melwood, though.
Journalists and coaches are doing the same. They have all shared great memories at Liverpool’s “home”.
James Pearce, currently of The Athletic, posted his thoughts on the Reds move.
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) November 9, 2020
Like Pearce, freelance journalist David Lynch tweeted about his experiences at Melwood and his gratitude of getting to work there.
Really sad to see Melwood go, and that the pandemic prevented one last visit. Got some unbelievable memories of the place, particularly from my time at the club. Feel very fortunate to have worked there. https://t.co/84Hvn6TK2j pic.twitter.com/EembdLz1Sk
— David Lynch (@dmlynch) November 10, 2020
Fans who have had good experiences at Melwood are putting their thoughts on social media, also.
— James Rogers (@Rogeball) November 10, 2020
Of course, there are far too many reactions to include in one article.
Take a look on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and see the amount of tributes that are being paid to Melwood.
Current Rangers boss Steven Gerrard perhaps sums it up the best.
His Instagram account posted a picture with the caption simply being “memories”.
Although it’s sad to leave, sentimentality cannot stand in the way of progress.
Having both the first team and the academy in one place will benefit the club massively going forward.
It’s Jurgen Klopp’s legacy.
[Featured image: Suckfromthecan – Creative Commons]